You would think we were in the most upbeat of times from the look of this front page. But more to the point, there is the letter sent out by John Roskam at the IPA. He begins:
This morning there was a headline to a story in The Australian that I don’t think qualifies as fake news – but at least half of it was wrong. It was by the journalist Cameron Stewart and it was ‘My Melbourne now resembles a poorly run police state’. It’s true Melbourne does resemble a police state (although it not so much resembles one as is one) and ‘police state’ is a term I and a number of other people used about Melbourne and Victoria back in May last year. I think the part that’s completely wrong, though, is the bit about ‘poorly run’. On the contrary – if your ambition was to run a police state then Victoria is a pretty good example of how you’d efficiently operate such a regime. You’d convert the police force from disinterested guardian of the peace to political operatives of the government, you’d co-opt the media to parrot your message, you’d intimidate civil society into silence, you’d ban public protests, you’d force your political opponents into acquiescence (that is if you’re not actually attempting to entirely subvert democracy itself, as the Andrews government did when it suspended the sitting of Parliament), and you’d give yourself the legal authority to govern by decree. That to me sums up the state of Victoria in May 2021 and that looks to me for all intents and purposes like a pretty well-run police state. If I’m wrong I’d like to know how. I know that I’ll probably get a few emails from IPA Members saying ‘John – I know it’s bad but aren’t you exaggerating just a little? – in Victoria the expression of political dissent is not actually against the law yet is it?’ And I’ll reply sadly it is – Zoe Buhler was arrested for a Facebook post that advertised a protest march. It’s true that in Victoria opposition political parties aren’t banned – but the Andrews government’s laws have crippled their capacity to raise funds. The title ‘the opposition’ implies they’ll oppose something – but the Coalition opposition in Victoria has meekly surrendered to the government and refuses to take a position on the lockdown.
The great discovery among the left is how easy it is to subdue a population. You don’t need actual gulags or torture or mass arrests. You need a bit of cancel culture and the fear of some disease from which no one is protected by anything done by governments, and weirdly, in Victoria, as in New York State which seems to have been Daniel Andrews’ template, it can even be the government that inflames the disaster but the population still falls into line. I also find the last bit of the quote particularly apt:
The title ‘the opposition’ implies they’ll oppose something – but the Coalition opposition in Victoria has meekly surrendered to the government and refuses to take a position on the lockdown.
We don’t even have to lock the opposition up. They do it by themselves without anybody having to lift a finger.